Lawrence Sacco

Posdoctoral fellow

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Works at Department of Psychology
Visiting address Frescati Hagväg 16 A
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Lawrence is a postdoctoral fellow funded by the Kamprad Family Foundation, researching quality of life in later life in relation to retirement and common life events, using the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) and the HEalth, Aging and Retirement Transitions in Sweden (Hearts) study.

More broadly, he is also interested in the current debates on the potential disadvantages and benefits of ageing societies and in the lifecourse influences on socioeconomic and health inequalities among older adults.


Lawrence Sacco received a PhD in Gerontology from King's College London in 2019, where he analysed paid and unpaid forms of work in mid to later life using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society. He  gained a MSc in Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2014 and graduated in Medical Science (BMedSc) at the University of Birmingham in 2013. 


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Lawrence B. Sacco (et al.). Social Indicators Research

    Providing unpaid informal care to someone who is ill or disabled is a common experience in later life. While a supportive and potentially rewarding role, informal care can become a time and emotionally demanding activity, which may hinder older adults’ quality of life. In a context of rising demand for informal carers, we investigated how caregiving states and transitions are linked to overall levels and changes in quality of life, and how the relationship varies according to care intensity and burden. We used fixed effects and change analyses to examine six-wave panel data (2008–2018) from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH, n = 5076; ages 50–74). The CASP-19 scale is used to assess both positive and negative aspects of older adults’ quality of life. Caregiving was related with lower levels of quality of life in a graded manner, with those providing more weekly hours and reporting greater burden experiencing larger declines. Two-year transitions corresponding to starting, ceasing and continuing care provision were associated with lower levels of quality of life, compared to continuously not caregiving. Starting and ceasing caregiving were associated with negative and positive changes in quality of life score, respectively, suggesting that cessation of care leads to improvements despite persistent lower overall levels of quality of life. Measures to reduce care burden or time spent providing informal care are likely to improve the quality of life of older people.

  • 2020. Loretta G. Platts, Lawrence B. Sacco, Boo Johansson. Läkartidningen

    Rekommendationen att alla äldre personer ska hålla sig hemma är ett uttryck för negativa stereotyper som utgår ifrån att äldre är passiva, sårbara och beroende av andra. Den riskerar att ytterligare begränsa personlig frihet och förstärka den sociala, ekonomiska och politiska marginaliseringen. Åtgärder för att skydda äldre från covid-19 behöver inriktas på hur vi kan främja ett aktivt, meningsfullt och tillfredsställande liv trots pandemin. Bättre kunskap om äldres livsvillkor behövs alltså som grund för nya rekommendationer. Vi föreslår att

    • äldre engageras (enskilt eller via pensionärsorganisationer) i diskussioner om hur man realistiskt och varaktigt kan skydda sig utan att behöva vara isolerad
    • äldre människors olika livsvillkor och levnadsförhållanden beaktas i nya och hälsofrämjande rekommendationer
    • nya rekommendationer måste stärka de äldres egen handlingskraft
    • nya rekommendationer ger bättre underlag för att väga riskerna för covid-19 mot ett hälsofrämjande socialt och fysiskt aktivt liv.
  • 2018. Lawrence B. Sacco, Constanze Leineweber, Loretta G. Platts. Sleep 41 (2), 1-10

    Study objectives

    To examine cross-sectionally and prospectively whether informal caregiving is related to sleep disturbance among caregivers in paid work.


    Participants (N=21 604) in paid work from the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Sleeping problems were measured with a validated scale of sleep disturbance (Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire). Random-effects modelling was used to examine the cross-sectional association between informal caregiving (self-reports: none, up to 5h per week, over 5h per week) and sleep disturbance. Potential socio-demographic and health confounders were controlled for and interactions between caregiving and gender included. Longitudinal random-effects modelling of the effects of changes in reported informal caregiving upon sleep disturbance and change in sleep disturbance were performed.


    In multivariate analyses controlling for socio-demographics, health factors and work hours, informal caregiving was associated cross-sectionally with sleep disturbance in a dose-response relationship (compared to no caregiving, up to 5h of caregiving: β = .03; 95% CI: .01; .06, over 5h: β = .08; 95% CI: .02; .13), results which varied by gender. Cessation of caregiving was associated with reductions in sleep disturbance (β = -.08; 95% CI: -.13; -.04).


    This study provides evidence for a causal association of provision of informal care upon subjective sleep disturbance. Even low intensity care provision was related to sleep disturbance among this sample of carers in paid work. The results highlight the importance of addressing sleep disturbance in caregivers.

  • 2014. Marc T. J. Exton-McGuinness (et al.). Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) 21 (9), 468-477

    Once consolidated, memories are dynamic entities that go through phases of instability in order to be updated with new information, via a process of reconsolidation. The phenomenon of reconsolidation has been demonstrated in a wide variety of experimental paradigms. However, the memories underpinning instrumental behaviors are currently not believed to reconsolidate. We show that well-learned lever pressing in rats does undergo reconsolidation, which can be disrupted by systemic administration of the noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonist (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-SH-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801) when administered prior to a switch to a variable, but not fixed, ratio schedule. Disruption of reconsolidation resulted in a reduction in long-term lever pressing performance and diminished the sensitivity of behavior to contingency change. Further investigation demonstrated that expression of the reconsolidation impairment was not affected by outcome value, implying a deficit in a stimulus–response (S–R) process. The ability to disrupt the performance of well-learned instrumental behaviors is potentially of great importance in the development of reconsolidation-based clinical treatments for conditions that involve compulsive seeking behaviors.

Show all publications by Lawrence Sacco at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 18, 2020

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